Search

Asian TV coverage of Tower Hamlets mayor voting was biased—Ofcom

16:06 08 March 2011

Ofcom... TV coverage of polling was

Ofcom... TV coverage of polling was 'biased'

©james perrin

Asian TV channels covering last October’s election for Mayor of Tower Hamlets have been ruled to be in breach if impartial coverage.

The broadcasters’ regulator Ofcom received complaints about the way Channel S and ATN Bangla TV transmitted interviews with candidates, often without rivals in the run-up to the voting.

Coverage of the election which gave Lutfur Rahman an overwhelming majority was not impartial, it ruled.

An independent translator viewed Bangla TV’s Jonotar Moncho programme and Ofcom found that the editions on September 30, October 6 and 9 featured Helal Abbas and Lutfur Rahman, but only Lutfur Rahman on October 13 and only Abbas on October 5 and 14.

Bangla TV’s response was that it had accommodated the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates in “clearly linked and timely programmes.” But it did not comment on the news bulletins despite repeated requests, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom concluded that Bangla TV was in breach of impartiality rules, which will be held on record and may be taken into account should any future broadcast licence application be received if the company is not eventually liquidated, or from individuals associated with the company.

Bangla TV (Worldwide), the Channel S licensee, is being wound up under the 1986 Insolvency Act following a High Court ruling on November 9, and is no longer broadcasting.

Ofcom’s investigation into complaints about ATN Bangla Europe found that the channel featured on October 8 Tory Neil King, Labour’s Helal Abbas and independent Lutfur Rahman, but no others.

It had just Helal Abbas and Lutfur Rahman on October 18, with no mention of the others.

Response from ATN Bangla Europe News was that it offered all candidates the same opportunity to take part—but was considered by Ofcom to have breached its impartiality rule.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00
Android tablet.

Android enthusiasts and professionals will be able to learn about the latest advances and listen to expert speakers at Europe’s largest developer conference next week.

Yesterday, 18:00
St John Ambulance volunteers ready for Guy Fawkes

Hundreds of first-aid volunteers are getting ready for Guy Fawkes night in case of fireworks injury.

Yesterday, 12:00
Keith serves up at Headway's kitchen in Shoreditch [photos: Helena Smith]

Keith Emmanuel has had to rebuilt his life after a devastating brain injury that has taken him 20 years—but now has been shortlisted for a national award.

Fri, 15:11
Man on CCTV police want to quiz after sex attack on Bethnal Green schoolgirl

A schoolgirl was sexually assaulted in her home in London’s East End by a bogus caller claiming to be a plumber.

Most read news

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition